Things have been good here in Portland for White Fang and Gnar Tapes & Shit. The house is a wreck to some degree and there’s no gear in the practice space. The only reasons that I can give for the situation is that A) we haven’t been cleaning and B) the gear is being used. Currently the other in-house band, Grandparents, are recording in the forested hills of northern Oregon in a mansion. Supposedly I should have a new tape from them in the next few days. Grandparents remind me of Neil Young & Crazy Horse if they were younger, dumber, and honestly less sober. Seriously, I came home from buying weed and they were sitting in a circle on the floor playing tablas and a sitar. NO SHIT. One of the funniest spectacles I’ve ever witnessed with my own eyes.

White Fang just played a sick show with …WORMS and Eternal Tapestry and this band called Paper/Upper/Cuts. If it had been just those four bands it would have been a pretty solid night of drunken noise. However, much to the chagrin of the majority of players, a young band comprised of members hailing from, get this, Oregon City AND Vancouver, Washington jumped the bill. Supposedly they had just shown up and somehow convinced the owner of the club to let them play, saying that they brought “twenty people willing to pay.” They were fairly chubby and white (as you’d assume.) Their mode of dress suggested an interest in mallcore and bro/chad styles, as well as some dabbling in nu-metal and Juggalo throwbacks. They all had hilarious facial hair that made them look seriously creepy and one of their mothers was there. She was a trip. An older blond with sunken eye sockets and fading tan skin, her blank expression and bulging eyes made for one of the less attractive sights of the night. They were called Trulie and they unleashed a woefully uninspired set of Metalcore on a woefully uninspired audience of twenty-two.

Thankfully, they agreed to play first and no one had to watch them for long. Personally, I walked in and laughed. I couldn’t stop laughing because the singer was trying to get really energetic, but he was kind of chubby and drunk and was mostly stumbling over the cables and the drums. I looked over to my friend Joel, who works the sound there at Satyricon, who gestured to the band before giving me and the rest of the world a big thumbs down. I couldn’t help but sadly smile at him, who would have to sit, watch, AND listen to them for their entire set.

After the show the fat singer called over to some attractive young black ladies, referring to them as “brown sugar.” I showed the dude my ass and he tried to create trouble, but we were rolling twelve deep and we were all very drunk; there would’ve have been little they could’ve done to beat us. We were already in Warrior mode after the show, some of us bleeding, all of us numb.

Funnily enough, shortly after leaving the Satyricon for the Hush down the street, a neighboring dance night had spilled out onto the street and a full-on street brawl went down in the parking lot across from the Satyricon. We saw most of it as we were walking back from the Hush. There was a lot of energy flowing through the streets and we could feel it. We walked around the corner to see around 300 or so kids our age, though black, full on screaming at each other from across the train tracks that happened to be in front of the Satyricon. We could hear the sirens coming as we started to cross the street into the roaring crowd, as we drunkenly asked each other and certain opinionated security guards what was going on. No sooner had the cop cars blocked all corners before the crowd dispersed back into Friday night in downtown Portland.

According to the ten or so people I talked to after, there were fifty or so people punching each other in the lot across the street from the club. A lot can be said about why the mostly young and black crowd happened to be fighting each other. There has been MASSIVE amounts of gentrification in Portland, especially in North Portland, a historically black neighborhood. Developers have basically moved out the generally poorer citizens of NoPo out to cheaper and, let’s face it, gnarlier east Portland, as well as the neighboring city of Gresham, which is a horrifically class-divided hell hole of a town. All of this happened a lot faster than you’d imagine. Certain gangs, especially the Bloods, used to have almost all their territory restricted to North Portland. Now with new turf lines being drawn and more and more youngsters joining the ranks, things have been coming to a head in gangland. Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable rise in not just visible gang activity, but violence as well. Most of the violence happens around the MAX lines (our city spanning pedestrian train) out on the east platforms or at/near downtown night clubs. Nasty enough as it sounds, the Zone (one of the only, if not the only, minor permitted clubs in town) recently got shut down for some killings, as well as some stabbings and other violence amongst high school aged dudes.

Kind of crazy, but here’s some cool news. Our friend Dan White from Sacramento is planning on moving to Portland. If he does, we’ll be having some really amazing Gnar Tapes & Shit and White Fang shirts made real soon. The kid LIVES screenprinting. His anticipated contributions to Gnar Tapes & Shit are really exciting.

We are planning to re-vamp the site and make more tapes available by the end of the week. That means the Argumentix and Timmy tapes will be sent out soon.

ALSO ALL MAIL ORDERS SHIP THIS WEEK. WE ARE SO SORRY IT HAS TAKEN US THIS LONG TO GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY’S WORTH. WE HOPE THAT YOU ENJOY THE EXTRA GOODIES WE’VE THROWN IN.

If you have any questions or tapes you’d like us to consider, please email me at gnartapes@gmail.com.

LOVE YOU!
Erik Gage
Portland, OR